The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines self-pity as: a feeling of pity for yourself because you believe you have suffered more than is fair or reasonable. Well, I present to you that it’s more than that. Not only is it more than that, but it’s also not that black and white. I personally have a problem when someone tells another person to stop feeling sorry for themselves. It’s been in my experience that when a person feels sorry for themselves, aka self pity, that usually means that they are expressing how they are feeling about an unfair situation that has happened to them BUT with the intention of illiciting a particular reaction from their listening audience: sympathy, sorrow, etc. To me, that’s what self-pity is. I say this because for me, the fact of the matter is that while I take responsibility for my choices and behaviors in my life, I can also trace back to a point of why I do the things that I do and where my faulty mindset all began. Unfortunately there are those that will mistake this as placing blame and wallowing in self-pity. No. These are just facts about myself and when I talk about them, I’m not expecting others to feel sorry for me or to cut me any slack. There is a difference between expecting a reaction that will support the wallowing vs a person truly believing that as their reality due to issues, dysfunctions, etc.
I’m a logical, rational, connect the dots type of thinker. A lot of people have dysfunctional mindsets and for some you can’t just tell them to stop feeling sorry for themselves or simply tell them that they have a choice and that they have to take responsibility for their own behavior. That may be ultimately true to some extent but not only is it not that simple, but there’s a process in getting to that point. For some, this mindset, this way of thinking, is all that they know. To tell somebody to stop feeling sorry for themselves and in the same sentence also tell them what they need to start doing as a solution to stopping this “self pity” is a little passive aggressive in my opinion and can definitely bring on a defense mechanism, which is counterproductive and not a good motivator at all! People shut down when they think you’re attacking them. Everyone is unique. Those who meet the criteria I just talked about and who really do feel sorry for themselves because they blame others, constantly paint themselves as a victim and rarely look at the part they play in their misfortune are the ones who really do need to hear “stop it! take responsibility and change what’s within your power!” but those who come from a place of truly internalizing and/or personalizing every negative thing that happens to them because of faulty belief systems from a young age, well I believe they need to hear something different other than “stop feeling sorry for yourself”.
So I present to you, that self-pity is not just black and white. It’s your mindset, it’s your beliefs, it’s your expectations, and it’s your come from in addition to the words that you speak.
A This will be a little off topic from my usual posts lately, but I have to blog when the feeling hits! Earlier I was thinking about something that led up to me pondering the question, “why do a lot of women who have had a bad experience or even several bad experiences with men within a relationship tend to come up with generalizations about them?” For example, we’re probably all familiar with the “all men are dogs” saying. I’ve also heard about what “all guys” do when they want to leave you at the moment – they start an argument so that they can go to the other woman. Personally, as a female, I don’t subscribe to that. Yeah, I get it. It’s easier to blame something or someone else instead of looking at yourself and definitely there are men and women that use this unnecessary tactic. I’m also excluding relationships where personality disorders are a factor. First of all, you can apply that theory to PEOPLE in general – starting an argument just so one can leave. I don’t think its exclusive to men. Second, the narcissist that used to be in my life did not have that problem or should I say that theory didn’t apply to him. He was too much of a control freak and his mindset was that he was going to do what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it, with whom he wanted to do it with and he didn’t have to tell you anything about it and believe me, if part of his leaving was to get back at you, trust me you were going to know exactly what the deal was!
Maybe I’m too self aware and that’s why I ponder these ridiculous questions but it seems to me that when women adopt this mindset of applying one behavior to all men, not only do they have to process and heal from the bad relationships, but now they have to overcome the faulty thinking that they’ve adopted about men in general which, in my opinion is not only extra work but also makes it more difficult to get into a healthy relationship in the future. I say, take each interaction, relationship or even friendship on a case-by-case basis. Definitely learn from past mistakes, but part of the process of learning from them is not about attributing the mistakes of the previous to the current. If you’ve had a series of interactions where you feel that the men have had similar negative ways, then maybe it’s time to look within and find out what it is that keeps allowing you to be involved with men that exhibit these behaviors or what it is about yourself that you may contribute to the unhealthy combination. And just to be clear, in no way, shape or form am I justifying bad behavior, bad choices and toxic people. I’m saying that instead of taking the default mindset of thinking that the male species are all born with the same DNA strands when it comes to certain things, maybe it’s time to look at all the factors involved – which includes you!
That person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder that used to be in my life was finally given an ultimatum by me and I stuck to my guns about it. And I thank God every day that I did! To say that I was tired is such a cliche. I had BEEN tired for over 20 years but never took that first step that would ultimately free me from HIS world of chaos, deceit, ATTEMPTED manipulation, lies, cheating and the list goes on a mile long. Three years ago is when I heard a voice say to me so clearly, “it’s time”. That was the beginning of my journey to heal. It’s been rough. There’s been a lot of taking 3 steps forward then 5 steps backwards. A lot of questioning myself. A lot of game plans that I thought would allow me to be able to deal with this type of person. Then the day came when I hit my breaking point. I gave him an ultimatum – either he chooses me and shuts the door to all the other females and inappropriate relationships as well as all the doors he leaves open as a plan B or……..IM shutting the door on us and any type of relationship or interaction for good. Now mind you, prior to this I had tried to give him and us every opportunity to try and make this work. I will even goes as far as to say that MAJOR compromises on my part were offered but one thing I WOULD NOT give in to was marrying him AGAIN. And he knew this. Which is why I believe he used this as his trump card 🃏 aka his excuse not to compromise and be willing to give me what I NEEDED from him. Inevitably all this led up to that ultimatum. Yes, he attempted to manipulate the situation, spin it, twist the FACTS of it etc…….none of it worked because the truth of the matter was I wasn’t being swayed. I was no longer sweeping our reality under the rug. Not this time. He had a choice to make. I guess deep down I knew that either I wasn’t going to be the one he chose or if I was, it would all be superficial, deceitful and temporary and I’d be right back in the same predicament. To fast forward, that moment came. That moment during a conversation when he said in so many words that he chose the others. That he chose to keep doing HIM. That was one of the more painful moments between me and him but even in that moment, I literally felt a burden released and a weight lifted off of me. In that moment I felt free. Free from his chaos, free from that mindset I had been in that had me feeling like i had to compare myself and compete with all the other females and situations that I took a back seat to INSIDE that bus he always threw me under! I was free to finally be able to set my mind on all the future healthy situations and relationships life had in store for me! In hindsight, i realize that was MY Independence Day. I do want to say however that my decision to close that door for good in the event i wasn’t the “chosen one” didn’t come over night. I actually pondered it, prepared for it, went thru all the emotions and even grieved for what I knew was coming. It prepared me to stand strong in my decision.
I said all this to say that even though he chose other females, other situations and other things that he thought were more beneficial to his shallow and empty shell of a self, I didn’t lose. I actually won. I now have peace instead of chaos in my life. No more giving my time, energy and any part of me to someone who only offers deception, lies, cheating, maliciousness, slander and insincerity in return. I’m free, I’m healing, I’m moving forward and I WON!